The Cost of Fundamental Woodworking Tools and How to Finance Them

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Woodworking is the process of making, modifying, or repairing things from wood. Wood has been used for hundreds of thousands of years to make practical objects such as furniture and tools. A person who works with wood can be called a carpenter, cabinetmaker, wood maker, or simply a “woodworker.” In this article, you’ll discover the fundamental woodworking tools and how to finance them.

Woodworking Tools

Are you planning to start carpentry work or planning to start a woodwork project and wondering what tools you need? Well, the following is a list of the fundamental tools you need:

Chisel

A chisel is a wedge-shaped tool, typically made of metal. It is used to split wood apart by carving out sections. A chisel costs from $4 to around $7.

Mallet

A mallet is a blunt force tool used to drive home chisels, stakes, and other wedges. They typically cost $4-$12.

Tekton Rubber Mallet

Sawhorse

Sawhorses are supports used to raise the height of the workpiece. It is commonly made from wood and has cross-braces for stability and strength. This allows it to support heavy stock pieces, while the sawhorse itself is a more mobile tool. It usually costs $106-$140.

Bench

A bench can work on or hold down large pieces of stock while it is worked on. It has ledges to support large panels and flat areas for clamping boards in place. It cost $229-$1335.

Clamps

Clamps are used to hold down wood during the various processes of building. For example, a large panel may be held in place by a clamp while the glue dries. There are many types of clamps suited for particular uses or materials being glued together. It costs from $10-$100.

Reamers

A reamer is a tool used to make holes larger. It is typically not sharp but conical in shape and has a handle, like an auger. It costs $12-$100.

Router

A router, either a fixed base or excellent plunge router, is a powerful tool that runs along the surface of wood, essentially shaving away some material. By changing its shape or running it in different directions, you can make grooves, curves, and circles on wood surfaces. It costs $17-$159.

Router

Plane

A plane is a woodworking tool that has a flat cutting edge. It is used to smooth, flatten or shape the surface of pieces of wood by removing small amounts of material from them at one time. Different planes range from$5- to $35.

Edge Trimmer

An edge trimmer, also known as an edger, is a special woodworking handtool. Its purpose is to trim off sharp edges on pieces of timber after they have been cut with other saws or edged tools. It’s typically built for tough daily use in workshops and yards by being made from metal rather than hardwood, which would quickly shatter without sufficient strength due to the stresses put upon it while being used. It costs around $18-$89.

Chalk Line

A chalk line is a string that leaves a mark along its path due to being treated with chalk inside it. It’s typically used in construction on rough surfaces where one needs straight lines. It costs $4-$35

Lumberjack

A lumberjack is someone who harvests trees for wood by cutting them down. They use various tools to do so, including chain saws, axes, and more. This term originally meant someone who cut down trees with an ax. Nowadays, most people don’t use axes anymore, but the name stuck around out of tradition. It costs $85-$236.

Electrical Saw

An electrical saw is powered via electricity (for example, an electric chainsaw). There are also battery-powered chainsaws available now. It costs $84-$186. You can find great saws among popular brands like Craftsman or DeWalt

Blue Max 8902 Gas Powered Chainsaw

Bandsaw

A bandsaw is a saw that runs on a thin, flexible steel band that rotates a blade. It’s used to cut wood and other substances into various shapes. For affordable tool, it costs $159-$349, but it could cost more if you prefer high-end brands like Festool

Wood File

A file is a hand tool usually made of metal, with varying grooves meant to remove material from wood. They can also be used for shaping and smoothing hardwoods and sometimes metals (though this is not their primary purpose). 

The term “file” actually covers several types of files, including round files, flat files, half-round files, and bastard files. Most woodworkers only use the term “file” generically to refer to any kind of file they have in their workshop, not just one type specifically, so this term is rather ambiguous and confusing. It costs $7-$25.

Carpenter's Square

A carpenter’s square is a tool used as a guide for making right angles or 90corners. Typically it is made from wood and metal. It has been around since ancient Greece, where it was known as a “dioptra.” Today it is still widely used to make sure angles are accurate. It costs $6-$49.

Starrett 13C 6-Inch Double Square - close up

Awl

An awl is a pointed instrument with multiple uses, but its primary use is for marking surfaces. It is typically used to make marks that can be seen more quickly than ones made with a pencil, and it helps the marks stay on the surface longer than if they were just made by pressing hard with a finger. Its costs range from $4- to $26.

Carpenter's Rule

A carpenter’s rule is essentially an extra-long ruler that helps one determine lengths accurately when working with wood or other materials. The markings indicate measurements in inches, feet, and fractions thereof so you can keep scaling up or down as needed while working on projects. It costs $9-$29.

Belt Sander

A belt sander is a power tool typically used in woodworking to smooth down the surface of various pieces of material by rubbing them against an abrasive belt that moves over time, so it doesn’t leave swirl marks on the surface one is working with. It helps save time compared to traditional sanding methods where you manually rub the object’s surface with fine-grain sandpaper. It costs $50-$299.

Angel Saw

An angel saw or ‘bow saw’ can typically cut through substances such as metal, wood, and plastic due to its shape, which allows it to get closer than other similar tools such as a hacksaw. Also known as bow/angel saws, they usually have at least two serrated edges (just like an angel). This allows them to cut in either direction when pulled or pushed. It costs $47-$159.

Hacksaw

A hacksaw is a saw that has a blade that can be moved back and forth. This design is unlike other types of saws where the teeth must face in the same direction to the material they’re cutting into (such as an angel saw). The moving blade helps prevent jams and stays more stable than stationary blades when cutting through certain substances. It costs $13-$38.

person using hacksaw

Impact Driver

An impact driver is a power screwdriver with rotating parts that help make driving screws easier by using force to quickly drive them in rather than requiring manual twisting forces as regular screwdrivers do. It works by having downward motion on its body applied at one end in addition to the twisting motion of the screwdriver bit. 

It can be used to drive screws in both soft and hard materials. Its power output is adjustable by varying its speed (depending on the material one is driving into) and includes a counter that tells you how many total turns have been made. It costs $67-&157.

Tomahawk

A tomahawk is an ax-shaped tool initially designed for warfare purposes but has since become commonly used to chop through various substances such as tree branches or even meat so humans can eat it. They are thrown rather than swung due to their lightweight design. It costs $29-$189.

Tape Measure

A tape measure is a flexible stick or strip of material used to measure distances accurately. They are typically made from plastic, metal, or cloth and come in various sizes depending on the length of desired measurements. Some can even be pulled out to sizes up to 25 feet long. It costs $10-$32.

Hand Drill

A hand drill uses power provided by strong gripping forces against items that can’t be drilled into with regular screwdrivers (they just won’t stay stable). Hand drills can also be used to dig into materials such as dirt and rocks. Also, there are several saw attachments for drills to make the product more versatile. Hand drills come in different varieties, with cordless types being common for use around the house. It costs around $6-$59.

Ridgid R86008 Drill

Hammers

A hammer is a tool with a solid head used to strike materials such as nails or chisels to drive them into surfaces. Hammers come in different weights and sizes, so you can choose the appropriate one depending on the size of the material you’re working with. You can also use a hammer for various other purposes, such as tapping items together, flattening substances, and removing nails from wood. It costs $8-$20.

Pry Bar

A pry bar is a metal bar typically made out of steel that has been bent at one end to form an L-shape that helps it be used for leverage when trying to move objects or lift them. They are often made from high carbon steel because it is strong enough to apply force without breaking. However, they can also be made from other metals, such as aluminum or titanium, for lighter-weight purposes. It costs around $7-$42.

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Woodworking Tools Financing Options

Woodworking can be expensive, and finding the money to fund all those tools and accessories can sometimes feel like a tall order. The price and cost of buying all the fundamental tools depend on the quality of the equipment and the number of tools you need. 

Luckily, there are several ways to finance your woodworking projects. It’s the smart way of paying for things over time without accruing interest or using credit cards. There is no need to buy everything at once so take it one day at a time. Here are some ideas on how you can find cash for woodworking equipment.

Cash Savings Account

If you have money left in your account after each paycheck, this will be your most immediate source of cash if you need it quickly and don’t mind withdrawing from savings. For example, if you have $500 in cash left over after your next paycheck and you need $400 toward new equipment, simply transfer the $400 from savings to checking. Be careful not to transfer too much, or you may need an overdraft on your account and incur fees.

savings account thru atm

Personal Loans/Unsecured Loans

This option is easier to accomplish than a home equity loan, but the interest rate will be higher, so try to pay it off as quickly as possible. If your credit history isn’t excellent, this might not be an option for you unless you have someone co-sign or offer some form of collateral or find a lender that offer loans for bad credit

Depending on your financial institution, they may also charge fees, increasing the overall cost of borrowing money. Be sure to find out all details and hidden charges before signing any agreements and read the fine print carefully. Shop around for the best rates available by visiting more than one lender before committing to anything.

Credit Cards

This is not recommended because these are easy to get into debt with. You will find it easier to pay off one card immediately rather than paying off multiple cards at the end of the month. Although, if you have a high credit limit enough or apply for two cards, this can be an option but make sure they are low interest/low balance transfer cards so that you don’t run up your debt even higher to pay off your woodworking tools.

Choose one with a 0% APR introductory offer and only use it when you need something big like equipment or large payment plans on items. Also, remember that there are cash advance fees for using credit cards and relatively high-interest rates. There are no grace periods or discounts on interest rates either, so be sure to clear it as early as possible. Using a 0% credit card is a good way of trying out new tools without having to pay an arm and a leg for them in one lump sum.

credit card and laptop

Retirement Accounts

This may seem like the most unlikely option, but there are several different ways to borrow from your retirement accounts. The first would be to simply take the money as a withdrawal and pay yourself back immediately. 

Depending on your age, there might also be exceptions if you want to use this money to purchase equipment. If borrowing from your 401k or IRA isn’t available, using your Roth IRA before retirement age will allow for penalty-free withdrawals and only requires that you pay yourself back. Here’s some detailed information on early IRA withdrawals.

Grants

If your local community has any grants for small businesses, homeowners, or even nonprofits, this is an excellent way to get money towards woodworking equipment. To receive these grants, you’ll need to show that the money will benefit your business and that you can repay it within a certain amount of time. 

These vary depending on the organization offering the grant, but most will only require that you pay interest on the loan, so be sure to find out all terms before applying. You can also visit state-run small business assistance programs for more information on what’s available in your area.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson